Virtual Reality

“The promise of virtual reality has always been enormous. Put on these goggles, go nowhere, and be transported anywhere.”


Virtual Reality is starting to get hot, again.  I remember a trip to Toronto about twenty years ago.  We went to the CN Tower and there was an arcade there that offered a “real” VR experience for about $20.  Chris couldn’t pass that up and thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in a totally different world.  Things sure have changed since then.  It’s getting closer and closer to a Star Trek Holodeck experience.  (Although I still don’t understand how Picard can ride a horse in the holodeck without bumping into the walls!)

Picard and Troi
Picard and Troi in “Penpals”

But first, what is Virtual Reality?  The website “How Stuff Works” describes VR as:

“using computer technology to create a simulated, three-dimensional world that a user can manipulate and explore while feeling as if he were in that world. Scientists, theorists and engineers have designed dozens of devices and applications to achieve this goal. Opinions differ on what exactly constitutes a true VR experience, but in general it should include:

  • Three-dimensional images that appear to be life-sized from the perspective of the user
  • The ability to track a user’s motions, particula­rly his head and eye movements, and
  • correspondingly, adjust the images on the user’s display to reflect the change in perspective”

From what I’ve been reading the new Oculus Rift is essentially just for playing games.  When you head to their website, you can watch a video of the user interacting with some of their games.  Although new games are being added all the time, it makes me wonder if there really is an future in VR beyond games.

Never fear – Mark Zuckerberg, owner of Facebook and Oculus is all over that like white on rice.  At the F8 conference last week they introduced new ways of using VR. Huffington Post reports:

“Facebook hopes to one day connect the world through virtual spaces. It owns Oculus, perhaps the world’s best-known virtual reality company, and its intent is to use the technology to break down barriers separating people from one another. (You know, things like space and time and oceans.) In the not-too-distant future, you and a friend could don virtual reality glasses, create avatars of yourselves and meet up in digital environments to play games or just hang out and chat.”

Want to learn more?  Check out these links:


Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area.

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